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by April 8, 2009
On October 1st the millitary confiscated Ratchet from the soldier who loves and cares for him just hours before he was to be rescued by SPCA International's Operation Baghdad Pups program.
Sign this petition and demand that the military release this innocent friend to SPCA International (http://www.spca.com/)!
On October 1st, the United States military committed a crime against their own mentally wounded U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq. Commanding officers ordered the confiscation of a dog, Ratchet, befriended by a group of soldiers during a 15th month of deployment. Ratchet has been a lifeline to Sgt. Gwen Beberg. This morning, Ratchet was on his way to SPCA International rescue experts at the Baghdad Airport to be flown home to Gwen's parents in Minneapolis, MN when Sgt. Beberg's commanding officers ordered Ratchet confiscated and held in Iraq to face certain death.
%u201CThis year has been extremely difficult on my daughter and her family. It has been a year of disappointments, loneliness, and fear because of all the sacrifices the army has required of Gwen. Ratchet was the savior of her sanity. Now they have cruelly ripped Ratchet away from her and sentenced him to death. I don't know how my daughter will cope. Ratchet has been her lifeline,%u201D explains Sgt. Beberg's mother, Patricia Beberg. Gwen Beberg, a decorated soldier, has been held by the military more than 15 months past her original commitment due to the stop-loss policy and now the military that asked extraordinary sacrifice from her has crushed her by ripping her lifeline away. Now, Sgt. Beberg is under military investigation for befriending the dog that saved her life.
It is against military regulations for active duty troops to befriend animals - Soldiers can face immediate court-marshal and some even see their animals brutally murdered by a direct gunshot to the head from commanding officers who will not bend the rules. Hundreds of U.S. soldiers in the Middle East befriend animals in the war zone to help themselves cope with the hardship and terror they face every day. These dogs and cats become their lifeline - saving them from deep depression and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The military refuses to help or formally recognize the lifeline these animals give to our mentally wounded soldiers. Veterans returned from Iraq are committing suicide at twice the rate of average Americans. The dogs and cats befriended by our troops rescued by Operation Baghdad Pups are providing proven pet therapy to soldiers who may otherwise suffer from PTSD and deep depression.
Operation Baghdad Pups is a SPCA International (http://www.spca.com/) program created to provide medical care, clearance and transport for the animals our U.S. soldiers have come to love during deployment in the Middle East.
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